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  • Schuyler Beltrami

NBA Finals Set As The Heat Escaped Collapse vs Celtics, While The Nuggets Swept Lakers

(Photo: The Sporting News)

The 2022-23 NBA season will come to a close in June with the NBA Finals. The two teams that will battle will be the Miami Heat and the Denver Nuggets. There are probably only a few people who would have predicted this outcome because many would argue that this has been one of the wildest playoffs or postseasons in NBA history. Both of these teams are very capable of pulling out four more wins and adding a ring and team trophy to their case. The question of which team will prevail is going to be a huge and most likely an in-depth debate and discussion now and in the future.

To recap, on Monday, May 22nd, the #1 seed Denver Nuggets defeated the #7 seed Los Angeles Lakers in four straight games, otherwise known as a sweep in playoff terms. Denver’s team is led by the two-time reigning MVP and NBA All-Star Nikola Jokić. He made history against the Lakers by being the first player ever to average a triple-double stat sheet of 27.8 points, 14.5 rebounds, and 11.7 assists in a sweep. Jamal Murray, Jokic's teammate, also did damage to the Lakers by averaging over 26 points and 8 assists per game. They took down one of the greatest players of all time, LeBron James, and his teammate Anthony Davis, to advance the Denver Nuggets to the NBA Finals for the first time in history.

On May 29th, the #8 seed Miami Heat finally beat the #2 seed Boston Celtics in Game 7, after the Celtics tied the series 3-3. The Heat were up 3 games on the Celtics before closing it out and have been dominating teams like the #1 seed Milwaukee Bucks and the #4 seed New York Knicks. Their story is led by the sensational playoff machine, Jimmy Butler, who has averaged 28.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 5.7 assists in 17 games this postseason. Role players like Bam Adebayo, Caleb Martin, Gary Vincent, and Duncan Robinson have helped the Heat achieve the impossible so far, while stars like Victor Oladipo and Tyler Herro have been sidelined. Miami will now be in the Finals for the first time since 2020 and the second 8 seed team in history to do so.

With all that being said, this is most likely shaping up to be a good playoff series between two talented teams making history and having something to prove. As far as comparisons go, both teams average 39% from 3-point field goals. The Nuggets are dominant in the paint and get most of their baskets from that area, but the Heat get most of their points from the multiple contributions that come from players on the bench. Together, this may be one of the most interesting and fresher matchups NBA fans will see in a long time, leaving room for unpredictability and the excitement everyone craves when watching sports.

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